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Hybrids

Road Test Review – 2024 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid – Sipping Fuel In Style

Compact cars have long been relegated to the role of being basic transportation with style and features once being considered a mere afterthought. However, with CUVs putting the pressure on these vehicles both in terms of demand and sales, automakers have been forced to inject these vehicles with more style and substance as they attempt to preserve the business case for making these vehicles. One of these offerings is the 2024 Hyundai Elantra with the four-door compact attempting to stand out by offering a wide range of trims and performance options. The hybrid is hoping to appeal to those that …

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2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country B5 AWD Ultimate road test review by Ben Lewis

We love wagons. While the world has gone SUV crazy, we still think there’s something cool about a lower-slung, still capable, vehicle that gets things done. And nothing looks better with a surfboard on it. Period. Unfortunately, if you love wagons as much as we do, you know – there are very few of them still available. Blame the crossover/SUV craze. When we get a chance to test any wagon, we’re excited. So, when Volvo gave us an opportunity to spend some time in the V60 Cross Country wagon, we jumped at it!  Sleek and Sexy Swede There may not …

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2024 Toyota Crown Limited review by Ben Lewis

Have you heard of the Toyota Crown? Well, if you’ve been around awhile, you might remember that the Crown was the first Japanese car to hit American shores in 1958. While the name disappeared here in 1972, it’s been a steadfast seller in other parts of the world – in fact this current model is the 15th generation! So, it’s pretty darn exciting that Toyota has decided to bring back the name in an all-new flagship sedan for the US market. So, does it deserve the right to wear that crown? Let’s find out. Real Presence First impressions are awesome. …

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Insider: How Electric Vehicles Can Save You Money in the Long Run

There has been an increase in cars that use alternative energy sources as their primary power source. The one reason driving this change is lower fuel costs than conventional gas or diesel-powered vehicles. In order to understand why these new types of models are cheaper, it makes sense to compare them with the aspects of the cost associated with conventional alternatives. First of all, battery and hybrid engines are much more efficient than the ones powering conventional cars when converting stored energy into motion – which translates into less power consumption per mile driven. This can be seen as a …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Toyota Crown Limited – Is It’s Luxury Indeed Fit For A King?

It has been a few decades since Toyota brought the Crown nameplate to our shores. The Crown was originally offered here in the U.S. market from 1958 to 1972 before it was replaced by the Corona. The Crown morphed into a Japanese-exclusive offering at that point which was supposed to offer well-heeled buyers a step up in Toyota luxury with the U.S. getting the Lexus luxury brand as a consolation prize. The Crown returned to the U.S. in 2022 and this time, Toyota is using it as a distinctive sub-brand. But is it enough to lure in buyers and Avalon …

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2024 Dodge Hornet R/T Plus review by Ben Lewis

The times, they are a changin’ – especially for muscle car enthusiasts. We’ve been seeing lately a lot of “Final Editions” of V8 muscle cars, as the market is turning to turbo 4 and 6 cylinders, as well as hybrid and EV vehicles. That’s the bad news…the V8 seems to be on its last legs. The good news – carmakers on Dodge aren’t giving up on performance, they’re just taking it in new directions. One that’s especially interesting is the new Dodge Hornet R/T. It’s got a whole lot of cool stuff going on, from a plug-in hybrid turbo 4 …

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2024 Aston Martin Valhalla Creeps Closer To Production, Will Debut Next Year

It has been a long journey for the Aston Martin Valhalla with the company first unveiling it back in 2019 as the AM-RB 003. Alot has changed since that time with a pandemic and Aston’s very survival during that time taking center stage. However, the company has kept pushing forward with the Valhalla and the company has released new details about the car while also confirming that it will be entering production next year.   Valhalla Sharpens Its Performance Sword With V8 Power The Valhalla is the latest in Aston’s growing lineup of exotic supercars but while it’s easy to …

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2025 Toyota Camry Lights Up L.A. Auto Show, Debuts New Tech and Hybrid Only Performance

It’s not often that we get to see the Toyota Camry go under the knife for significant updates. The Camry is still one of Toyota’s strongest-selling models and the firm tends to not rock the boat too much when it comes to ensuring that the Camry still has the magic to draw in buyers. The current-gen model has been around for a while now, and Toyota has decided to use the 2025 Camry as a potent stepping stone for new updates in technology and performance.   Refreshed Camry Maintains Old Blueprint At first glance, the ninth-generation Camry may seem similar …

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Industry Insider: Taking Good Care of Your Hybrid Car

There’s an increasing range of good hybrids hitting the market as of late, from the Hyundai Tuscon to the Toyota RAV4, and if you haven’t done it already, then you might be tempted to make the switch to the green option. However, if you’re planning to change over, then you need to get used to the differences that come with a hybrid, as well. In particular, taking care of your vehicle, and giving it the maintenance and attention it deserves is vital if you want it to keep running as well as it should. Here are a few pointers on …

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Aston Martin Valhalla’s F1 Derived Technology Pushes It Closer To Production, Will Appear In 2024

Aston Martin has recently been on a roll regarding products, with the British sports car maker launching the DB12 and the wild and extremely rare Valour sports car. However, the Valhalla supercar is one model we have not heard much about in a long time. Getting its name from the Norse word for heaven, the development of the supercar has been far from a heavenly experience for Aston. The car was first announced in 2019, with the company claiming that it would get a hybrid V6. However, COVID-19 forced the company to focus on more pressing matters before announcing in …

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2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Drive Review: Blending Efficiency with Adventure

6th Generation CR-V The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is the first model year of the 6th generation CR-V. As such it has been redesigned outside and in and has additional powertrain improvements.  Driving the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Terrain Management While the CR-V Hybrid lacks a dedicated off-road mode like some of its competitors, it does offer multiple driving modes to adapt to various conditions. The ECON mode prioritizes fuel efficiency, while the Sport mode enhances throttle response and steering feel. In slippery or uneven terrain, you can engage the Snow mode, which optimizes power distribution for improved traction. These …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Honda Accord Touring Hybrid – Hybrid Power And Google Infused Tech For The Win?

Honda may be shifting the bulk of its focus to SUV and CUV sales, but the Japanese auto giant is still keeping its eye on the mid-size sedan market. The Honda Accord has served the company well and is still a key sales generator for Honda even after several decades in production. However, the nameplate is feeling the pinch from buyers shunning the sedan in favor of utility vehicles. But Honda is not giving up hope and has unveiled another major revamp for the Accord, but has the sedan found the winning formula with an all-hybrid engine lineup and updated …

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2023 Toyota Prius Prime XSE Premium review by Ben Lewis

Do you believe in reincarnation? We think Toyota does. After several lifetimes of loyal, frugal but somewhat frump7-styled vehicles, we think the gods rewarded the Prius.  “Little Prius, how’d you like to be sporty? Fast? Dare we say, Sexy?” “Yes, please!” And for those worrying about the functional frugal type buyer, we’d gladly point them to the Corolla Cross Hybrid we recently tested – a great package with loads of utility. And here we have the ultimate version of the all-new Prius, the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. Great looks, nearly 100 horsepower more than the previous model, and over 40 …

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2023 Honda Accord Touring Hybrid review by Ben Lewis

The Honda Accord is an icon. Think about it – America’s best-selling car over the last 5 decades. The first Accord started here in 1976, and has continued to be a sensible family sedan (and coupe and wagon) that was long on reliability, quality, value, and economy. And even though it has grown larger and more sophisticated over the years, it’s stayed true to form – it’s easy to believe that someone who started with one in 1976 still owns one today. So now for 2023, we have the 11th generation Accord. Can Honda continue its winning streak? And just …

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Toyota Announces Plans To Build $50 Million Battery Lab At U.S. R&D Campus, Announces Separate STEM Investment

Toyota’s preparing to go full throttle in its efforts to prepare for an all-electric future, with the company confirming its finalizing plans to build a $50 million dollar battery lab at its state-of-the-art U.S. R&D facility in York Township, Michigan. In addition to the new battery lab, The Japanese auto giant also announced separate plans for STEM programs in local school districts.   Battery Lab To Play Key Role In Toyota’s Electrification Strategy The battery lab is slated to play a role in reshaping the way that Toyota develops its battery packs, with the facility capable of supporting the process …

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2023 Volvo S60 Recharge AWD Ultimate review by Ben Lewis

We have to admit, we are slowly changing our opinion about electrification of vehicles. Take our recent test of the Kia EV6 GT, with 576 horsepower and 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Oh yes, that was fun. But we’ll also point out that it wasn’t always easy finding a charging station and a range of 208 miles or so did fire up the occasional range anxiety. We think hybrids are the best way to go right now – the joy of EV combined with the reliability of a gas-powered engine. Well for Volvo the times they are a changing – …

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2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC review by Ben Lewis

Have you ever met someone, and new immediately that you were going to be great friends?  Well, that happens with cars, too. Last year we tested the then all-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander and loved it. The only thing missing – the popular PHEV (plug-in hybrid) model remained on the previous chassis. But now for 2023 you can get the PHEV model with all the goodies. So, is it still love at first sight? Let’s find out! Same Great Looks – Can you say I Fu Do Do? We were super happy to see that the PHEV has inherited the same …

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2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid EX AWD review by Ben Lewis

As long as there’s been Kia in the US, it seems like there’s been a Sportage SUV. It started out small and rugged, and grew into a stylish, strong-performing model that we liked to call the Korean Cayenne. No small praise, giving Porsche props there. And now we have an all-new 5th generation Sportage, and while we might have expected a further development of the current model, Kia has instead unleashed the designers and engineers to create something completely different. How did they do? Let’s take a look! Opposites United No, that isn’t a name for a new English soccer …

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2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Adds AWD and Electrification To Performance Icon

The Chevrolet Corvette has always been the ultimate example of American performance. But not too long ago, it would have been blasphemy to suggest that electrification or even hybrid technology would find its way to the Vette, with GM reps in the 1990s and 2000s scoffing at such an idea despite making the occasional concept. But at long last, after a few teases, it’s finally happening with the unveiling of the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray, which brings AWD, electrification, and a pinch of flair to the sports car segment.    E-Ray Is More Than Just Electrification Chevrolet has big plans …

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Chevrolet Teases Corvette E-Ray, First Ever Production Hybrid Vette To Be Revealed January 17th

The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is poised to make its debut on January 17th, but before that happens, the bow-tie brigade has blessed us with another teaser for the green-infused performance machine which takes full advantage of Jack Frost and his snowy wares.   E-Ray Tester Promises To Debut Stealth Mode The brief teaser that Chevrolet released is a true blink or miss it affair, and while the rapid camera cuts make it difficult to see precise details, there are still a few things that will make this Vette stand out from its mainstream siblings. A major item is the addition …

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2023 Kia Niro PHEV SX Touring Review by Ben Lewis

The Kia Niro has always been an interesting player. More of a tall hatchback than a true small SUV, we’ve found that its fun to drive nature and responsive performance made it one of the most enjoyable small hybrid vehicles. Well for 2023, we have an all-new 2nd generation Niro, so we’re wondering, is it a second helping of Kia goodness, or a sophomore slump? Let’s find out. Big on Bold Season 2 starts with a bold new look for our hero. Kia calls the new design philosophy “Opposites United” – yes, it does sound like a pro soccer team …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 – Adding Green To Established Estate Form

Volvo’s commitment to electrification is unquestioned especially when you look at the wild EX90 flagship EV SUV that the brand recently revealed in Sweden. However, the company also knows that for now, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will play a key role in laying down the foundations for this EV future. The 2022 Volvo V90 B6 Cross Country is one of these models and it aims to prove that green technology and a proper station wagon can indeed co-exist. But has Volvo indeed succeeded in this pursuit?   V90 Styling Carries Over, Hides Changes Underneath At first glance, you would …

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Toyota Confirms U.S. 2023 Prius Lineup, Also Sheds Light On Trim Levels For U.S. Models

When we last saw the 2023 Toyota Prius, the newly revamped Prius was making its global debut. The 2023 version swung for the fences when it came to embracing its fun side and has exterior styling that makes the Prius (dare we say it) look sporty. However, the lone fly in this initial bowl of oatmeal was that we were left in the dark about how well the Prius does when measured according to U.S. standards for range and performance (Toyota used European WTLP figures for the international unveiling) as well as overall mileage. The Japanese auto giant thankfully didn’t …

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2023 Honda Accord Brings New Style, Technology, and Green Tech To Iconic Sedan

Updating an iconic vehicle like the Honda Accord is a task that many folks would be glad to not undertake. The challenge of updating an icon without altering the fundamental DNA that makes it a sales success is a formidable task for any design team. But Honda thinks it has the right formula in place for the 2023 Honda Accord which brings more technology, style, and better hybrid technology to the long-running four door.   Accord Styling Comes With Higher Civic Content Honda designers gave the Accord new styling for 2023 with the front fascia featuring new headlights and a …

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Toyota Polishes Iconic Nameplate For 2023 Crown, Will Form New Family Of Offerings

When Toyota axed the Avalon sedan a short while back, we were curious to see what the company had in store to fill the void that the aging four-door sedan left behind. The Japanese auto giant answered that question with the 2023 Crown, which not only aims to fill the shoes left by the Avalon but also create a new model sub-family within Toyota’s vehicle lineup too.   Toyota Pulls Automotive Swerve, Confirms Full Crown Family If you managed to stay up and catch Toyota of Japan’s late-night live stream reveal of the Crown (we sure did), you would’ve seen …

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2022 Lexus UX 250h Review by Ben Lewis

Have you looked at the price of gas lately? We have. And when we got our latest tester the Lexus UX 250h hybrid might just be the perfect answer for those who want luxury with a green (cash or environment) friendly ride. Is it worth your green? Let’s take a look. Lexus Looks While the UX is an “urban” vehicle, and the brand’s smallest crossover, it doesn’t come up short on design. From the front, you’ll get the familiar Lexus spindle grille. And like other models, it’s huge. Maybe we’re getting used to it, but the proportions don’t bother us …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Lexus ES 300h F-Sport – New Moves And Makeup Define Sporty Lexus Hybrid

Green motoring is rapidly becoming the new normal with the overall lineup of hybrid and all-electric models growing at a rapid pace. Amid all of this growth though, it would seem that performance (with a few exceptions) is on the backburner with fuel economy being front and center. Lexus is out to change that narrative though with the 2022 Lexus ES 300h F Sport. But does the ES 300h have the chops to balance out efficiency and fun? Or is it a flawed specimen?   Attention-Grabbing Red Paint And F Sport Cues Make This ES A Hit The exterior styling …

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Chevrolet Corvette Goes Green, AWD Hybrid And EV Models Coming Next Year

Speculation, spy photos, and even an inadvertent slip of the tongue by the U.S. President all painted the picture that GM was preparing the C8 Chevrolet Corvette for a green motoring future. GM would typically not budge on its strict code of silence regarding these Vette variants. However, all of that changed today, with GM president Mark Reuss confirming that not only is an all-electric Vette coming but that an AWD hybrid version is coming too.   A Massive Shift In Corvette History The confirmation came from GM President Mark Reuss who revealed the news in a long post on …

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2022 Toyota Sienna XLE review by Ben Lewis

Minivans always seem to be a topic of discussion. We know many a SUV driver who wouldn’t be caught dead in one. And we know many minivan drivers who wouldn’t own anything else. Part of this is a hangover from the early days of the little van, being a very functional box, but really be devoid of any style. Toyota’s Sienna has always been a fine product, and in the previous generation, the “Swagger Wagon” add campaign gave some needed cache to the vehicle. Introduced last year, an all-new Sienna takes a major step in style, performance, and technology – …

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Toyota Avalon Enters Final Model Year With All New XSE Hybrid Nightshade Model

It wasn’t too long ago that Toyota revealed that the Avalon would not live beyond the 2022 model year. We recently had one final chance to check out the recently axed TRD model and the Japanese auto giant has now confirmed that not only an additional trim level will go away, but that the final run of Avalons will also be the latest recipient of the Nightshade appearance package.   XSE Hybrid Embraces The Night Like other Nightshade-equipped Toyotas, the dark motif for the Avalon is purely a styling package that aims to bring the Avalon into the dark side. …

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited Review by Ben Lewis

The compact SUV segment remains on fire, even if dealers are scrambling to find inventory to sell, and some are packing ridiculous markups on the sticker. And Outside of a few full-size pickup trucks, the number one selling vehicle is the RAV4. So, we know Toyota knows what it’s doing, and it’s also probably in the crosshairs of every other carmaker. We recently tested the new Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 and they all are excellent, and none of them are standing still, with everything from small changes to all-new vehicles being touted in front of buyers to …

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2022 Lexus LC 500 and 500h Arrive With Minor Updates, Introduce Bespoke Build Option

In our recently published review of the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible, we pointed out that the LC 500 had the potential to emerge as a true world-beater in the Grand Touring segment if it received the right amount of upgrades. Lexus appears to have been listening to some of this feedback from consumers and has introduced several minor updates that aim to keep the LC lineup fresh for 2022.   Bespoke Build Options Add Exclusivity, Shuffles Equipment Around While these updates do not focus on the dysfunctional infotainment technology that constantly haunts the LC lineup like a ruthless specter, …

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2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX review by Ben Lewis

If we say large Kia SUV, what do you say? You’d probably say “Telluride”.  And we can’t blame you, the rugged 3-row SUV has been a huge hit, and right now, many are commanding impressive amounts above sticker on the showroom floor. But there’s another 3-row Kia that should be on your radar as well – the all-new 2021 Kia Sorento. Does the Telly’s little brother live up to the family image? Let’s look. Bold Style This is the 4th generation Sorento, and like the Telluride and Carnival minivan, it is modern, crisp, and sporty. Designed by Kia’s California design …

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2021 Toyota Prius Prime Review by Ben Lewis

Do you remember the original Prius? It first came ashore in the US in 2000, and it was really the first Hybrid that was mass marketed. It was a slightly odd-looking agrarian sedan, but the technology was fascinating. Nowadays, you can get a hybrid on pretty much anything – heck, Toyota alone offers you a hybrid choice on 5 model lines. And almost every other maker offers a hybrid powertrain – all the way up to Porsche. Still, you must pay props to one of the originals, and along the way, Toyota has continually developed both the Prius and the …

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2021 Lexus NX 300h Luxury Review

On It’s Way Out The 2021 Lexus NX is being redesigned for 2022, but how does this outgoing model stack up to the competition? Outside The exterior of the 2021 NX 300h is sleek and modern and really doesn’t look like it’s in need of an update. Up front, the signature Lexus spindle grill is massive and prominent. Projector LED headlights sit up high with Nike swoosh daytime running lights just below them. LED fog lights sit inside of aesthetic cooling ducts at the bottom of the bumper. Moving down the side, the small proportions of the NX become more …

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2021 BMW 330e Sedan Review by Ben Lewis

2021 BMW 330e Sedan review by Ben Lewis We recently tested the Audi Q5 PHEV Plug-in hybrid, and found it gave near the performance of the pricier SQ5, with a price and efficiency closer to the base Q5 – especially when the federal and state tax breaks were added in. So, we were equally excited to driver the BMW 330e – the 3-series sport sedan with plug-in hybrid powertrain. While the previous gen had a similar version, the 2021 features the all-new 3-series that came out a couple years ago. Was this another plug-in we could love more than a …

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Viva Italia, Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 Propels Supercar Maker Into The Future With Green Tech, Retro Name

Lamborghini nearly broke the internet a few weeks ago when it revealed that the Countach was returning to the automotive world before a subsequent set of leaked images derailed Lamborghini’s unveiling plans. But the leaks stop here because Lamborghini has officially unveiled the 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4, which is perhaps the most important transitional Lamborghini model that the Italian supercar maker has ever produced.   It Has Sian DNA But Goes In Its Own Direction When you first look at the Countach, we wouldn’t be shocked if you assumed if it was the production version of the Sian. The …

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2022 Lamborghini Countach Leaked? New Photos Suggest Cat Is Out Of The Bag

The internet can be a fleeting mistress sometimes, and as they say, once you post it, it’s online forever. In the case of Lamborghini, it appears that they are learning a very costly lesson in this regard, with leaked images of the 2022 Lamborghini Countach making their way onto the internet.   Retro Styling Mixed With Modernism Defines This Countach Iteration We spotted this particular set of images on the Facebook Group Unpopular Car Opinions. While the water cooler talk there is certainly enough to spur debate and entertain visitors, the mysterious appearance of these images certainly has us interested (much …

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Latest Acura NSX Type S Teaser Hints At New Levels Of Speed, Promises Very Potent Send Off

Acura first revealed that it was planning a hotter NSX Type S model a few weeks ago, but other than a minor teaser video not much has come to light about the mysterious model. An all-new teaser video, though, appears to highlight that some very potent firepower is lurking in the engine bay and that it aims to shake up the supercar segment.   Faster, Stronger, But More Powerful? Acura’s latest teaser video does not leave much to the imagination, but the brief clip does show that the engine will receive some much-needed love from Acura engineers. The bulk of …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition – Celebrating A Key Anniversary, Even If It’s Fashionably Late

Happy 20th anniversary Toyota Prius, but wait, you might be asking, how can the Prius possibly be celebrating its 20th birthday in 2021? Part of it comes down to timing, but Toyota also wanted to use the occasion to celebrate the over 1.9 million sales that the Prius has managed to achieve since it first appeared back in 2000. Despite this edition being fashionably late to the party, Toyota is confident that the 2020 Edition can still be a solid sales player, but does it stand out enough from other green rivals?   Tasteful Evolution And Sleek Red Paint Adds …

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2021 Lexus NX300h Black Line Special Edition Review by Ben Lewis

So, this is always a tough thing to do – a review of an existing model when an all-new model has been previewed. Well, that’s the problem here – an all new 2022 Lexus NX is waiting in the wings, so the question is should you wait, or plump for the 2021 NX? Let’s take a drive in the current model and find out! Blue Thunder The NX hasn’t changed much visually since it got a refresh in 2018, but that’s okay, it was a stunner then, and it is still a bold, strong presence. Up front, you get key …

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Bentley Unveils 2022 Flying Spur Hybrid, Features 435 Mile Driving Range

Bentley reps have repeatedly told us that the company is looking to transform into an all-electric brand by 2030. While the company has touted its environmental plan and some of the promises that come with it, Bentley currently only has one green model in its arsenal (the Bentayga Hybrid.) With the winds of change blowing ever harder, the company has unveiled its second green-tinged model, the all-new 2022 Flying Spur Hybrid.   Flying Spur Hybrid Is Like Looking Into A Mirror With the Flying Spur lineup benefitting from a recent redesign that completely rebooted the design language, it should come …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum – The Perfect Hybrid Minivan?

The Toyota Sienna was in a bit of a pickle before it was redesigned for 2021. It was a capable minivan, but it suffered from having frumpy exterior styling, forgettable performance hardware, and rapidly aging interior technology. Toyota is out to change that for 2021 and has unveiled an all-new Sienna that aims to draw more attention to itself and bring it closer to traditional SUVs. We’ll understand if you’re still trying to process the latter item. Still, with the recently launched Kia Carnival embracing its SUV side, it’s apparent that this is rapidly becoming a new sales trend in …

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2021 Toyota Venza Limited Review by Ben Lewis

Toyota likes to offer something for just about everybody. That’s what makes them consistently in the top two (sometimes 1st, sometimes 2nd to VW) manufacturers in the world. So, let’s say you have your heart set on a new SUV. Perhaps the RAV4 feels too small, and the Highlander too large. No worries! Introducing the all-new 2021 Toyota Venza, as they say in the three bears…this one’s just right. Sleek and Sophisticated One look and you know this isn’t your Auntie’s Venza! (That model went away in 2015). While the Venza shares a chassis with the RAV4, it looks entirely …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid – Eco Warrior Brings Sportiness To Fuel Saving Mission

When the current generation Toyota Camry first arrived on the scene, the Japanese auto giant promised to bring fun back into the Camry’s bag of tricks. The Camry TRD that we tested a short while back on the west coast proved that the Camry had a wild side to exploit. But what if you’re an enthusiast that wants the sporty looks but without giving up the impressive fuel economy that Toyota’s hybrid lineup is known for? The company has heard your requests and has created the all-new 2021 Camry XSE Hybrid. But is it truly the best of both worlds? …

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2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the new 2020 Hyundai Sonata and came away very impressed with its style, luxury, and neat gizmos like the self-parking feature. Would you use it much? Probably not, but it sure impresses your friends when you do. More than just another gizmo, Hyundai also has a very interesting Sonata Hybrid, loaded with even more tech and neat stuff, plus it offers up to 52 combined mpg! Test drive? Count us in. Unique and Elegant We loved the looks of our ’20 tester so we’re glad they didn’t do much to our ’21 Hybrid. The cross-hole grille has …

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Subtle updates blend with green focused technology to add dimension to 2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Remember back when the Toyota Prius was once considered to be the de-facto benchmark of the green vehicle segment? We do and apparently so do some of its rivals who are out to show the world that there are indeed other options besides the mighty green icon. One of these firms is Hyundai who has perhaps pulled the boldest coup of them all with the 2020 Ioniq. On the surface the Ioniq appeared to check off alot of the boxes that green car buyers want. That included exceptional fuel economy and futuristic technology but can the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq continue …

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McLaren confirms Artura nameplate for upcoming hybrid supercar, promises it will go on sale next year

Rumors have been swirling about McLaren and its new hybrid supercar for the past few months. They included tantalizing tidbits such as the company ditching its long running numerical naming system, as well as the appearance of exotic technologies aimed at improving fuel economy and performance. The British supercar maker has added newfound fuel to the fire by releasing two teaser images, as well as confirming that the model will be known as the Artura. But what does it all mean for buyers Artura what goes into a name? We might as well address the big elephant in the room, …

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD

If I say name the fastest 4-door Toyota right now, with over 300 hp and 0-60 under 6 seconds what would you say? Camry TRD? Avalon? Nope. It’s the Toyota RAV4 Prime. Wait a sec. The friendly and familiar RAV4 SUV? A performance vehicle? Yep, and then some. Toyota has been on a roll lately, and they’ve making fun to drive a big part of their new direction as a brand. Camry, Corolla, Supra, heck, even the Highlander is a lot more fun than it used to be. And where hybrids used to be just for super-efficiency, Toyota is showing …

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Toyota Highlander Platinum Hybrid Mountain Drive By Matt Barnes

Toyota was first to market a mass-produced hybrid vehicle with the Prius, and they continue to innovate and improve. The new Highlander is evidence of that with incredible efficiency for a three-row SUV. It switches from full electric to hybrid to full gas motor so smoothly that you’ll miss it unless you’re paying very close attention. The e-CVT uses an ingenious planetary gear system, so no belts like other CVT’s. Toyota has made significant updates for the 2020 Highlander and it is by far the best Highlander yet! Exterior Toyota redesigned the Highlander for 2020 and it looks significantly better …

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2020 Lexus ES300h – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The Lexus ES is moving upmarket. Can it step up to the task? The seventh generation ES was new for 2019 with the 2020 model receiving a few minor updates. Moving forward, the ES will have to cover for its traditionally sportier sibling with Car and Driver, reporting that the GS is going out of production.   Exterior You’d be forgiven for mistaking the Lexus ES for a sports sedan. The updated design is beautiful, sporty, and luxurious. The ES is longer and lower than the previous generation with the wheels pushed out to the corners. It is a gorgeous …

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2021 Toyota Camry debuts XSE Hybrid trim, enhanced safety tech and beefed up infotainment system also on board

Sometimes its often the little things that define a suite of updates for an automobile. In this instance, with the Toyota Camry already benefiting from some big 2020 changes, the Japanese auto giant has chosen to focus 2021’s enhancements on updating some of the supporting cast that has helped make the Camry one of the leading sales forces in the mid-size sedan segment. A big change for 2021 is that the Camry Hybrid will now receive an XSE trim. XSE is the mainstream sporty trim in the Camry’s trim roster (only topped by the TRD Edition) and as is the …

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2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum L4 AWD by Ben Lewis

The Toyota Highlander has always been a solid choice in the mid-size SUV segment. By solid, we mean, well-built, good value, Toyota reliability. But ahem, nothing to get excited about. Well, until now. For 2020, there’s an all-new Highlander, and while it hasn’t lost any of the things that make a Highlander a stress-free choice, this one’s notably more passionate, from style, to driving, to features. You can now lust after a Highlander and not be locked up in the automotive looney bin. Big and Bold The first thing that hits you is the Highlander’s take-no-prisoners design. It looks bigger, …

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2020 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the 2020 Kia Sportage, and noted that Kia in a very Porsche-like manner, continuously tweaks and updates as it goes along, and like the Sportage, we find the same is true for Niro hybrid model. Since the Niro is one our favorite Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and EV models, that’s all good news for us. Let’s take a look at the changes. Updated Looks On the outside, the Niro has received some updates to keep it looking fresh. Up front, there are new projector-type headlights and fogs, dual chevron-style LED daytime running lights, and a new diamond-pattern grille. …

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2020 Hyundai Ioniq HEV Limited by Ben Lewis

It’s interesting how popular hybrids are these days. Historically, gas is relatively cheap, and with the pandemic, lots of people are driving less. Seems like a good excuse to get something crazy like the 485-horsepower Dodge Charger Scat Pack we recently tested. But no, being frugal, and eco-friendly seem to be trends that are not going away. So, we decided to test one of our favorite hybrid vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq. And although the Korean carmaker was later to the market with this kind of vehicle, it has quickly become a major challenge to the Toyota Prius. Let’s see why. …

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McLaren unveils all new vehicle platform, lighter weight and innovation lead the way

When it comes to innovation and launching electrified supercars, the folks at McLaren are no strangers to the challenge. The recently launched P1 and Speedtail are two recent examples of this recent push towards electrification. But the British supercar maker has revealed that it’s taking things up a degree by creating an all new lightweight vehicle platform with electrification and innovative technology being the two top priorities for the new platform. McLaren also revealed that the first model to take advantage of this platform will make its appearance sometime in 2021, but stopped far short of revealing any critical information …

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2020 Lexus NX 300h by Ben Lewis

We always hear about “Best in Class”, “Class-Leading” or “Class Standard”, but what happens when you’re the only one in your class? And that’s what we have here, in its segment ,the Lexus NX 300h is the only regular hybrid in its class. Well, some manufacturers might take that as an opportunity to set the bar low – where else you going to go? – but not Lexus. Like all their products, they hold everything to a higher standard. But is it worth going to a hybrid, when there a lot of other interesting choices, including a non-hybrid Lexus NX?  …

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Hyundai Ioniq to become sub-brand, expand to three models in first three years

Following on the heels of the recently launched Genesis luxury brand, Hyundai is expanding once again, and has formally announced plans to launch a second sub-brand called Ioniq that aims to push Hyundai into the greener side of the market. if that particular moniker sounds familiar, it’s because it’s based on an existing Hyundai model. Unlike Genesis which had it’s origins in the Hyundai Genesis sedan, Ioniq gets its roots from the Ioniq green car of the same name. Currently, the Ioniq as we currently know it is available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and a full EV. However, that …

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2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring by Ben Lewis

Honda is often times a technology leader, but in the case of the Hybrid SUV’s, it’s been a bit slow. But good news is here for those who love the CR-V and want all the goodness a Hybrid can bring – for 2020 we have the all-new CR-V Hybrid. And with Toyota turning up the heat in the segment with the excellent RAV4 Hybrid, it’s perfect timing. CR-V Hybrid Exterior – The Best Looking CR-V Ever! For 2020, all CR-V models get a makeover, including bolder front and rear styling and redesigned wheels. And like the Civic Coupe we recently …

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2020 Toyota Avalon XSE Hybrid by Ben Lewis

It’s interesting how different technologies develop over time. A perfect example is the Hybrid car. With the original Prius, it was a technically interesting, but pretty agrarian little vehicle. Slow and a little clunky, it got very good gas mileage, but you had to be committed to the cause. Come round 2, and Hybrids got better, with little penalty to the driving experience, excellent gas mileage – our 2019 Prius tester averaged over 50 mpg! – but the appeal of hybrids remained in the camps of eco-friendliness. But now the Hybrid has another trick up its sleeve – it’s now …

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2021 Toyota Sienna Minivan Unveiled, Debuts Hybrid Only Performance

It has been awhile since a major shakeup has occurred in the minivan segment. While the redesigned Chrysler Pacifica cemented FCA’s role as a potent benchmark in the segment, others have been aging not so gracefully. One of these offerings is the Toyota Sienna. Last updated back in 2011, the Sienna was in dire need of an update with aging styling and powertrains handicapping its sales potential. Toyota is out to right the ship though, and has formally unveiled the 2021 Toyota Sienna which aims to revitalize the Sienna nameplate while also bringing in new technology as well.   A …

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Toyota Revives Venza Nameplate For Hybrid CUV, Promises To Bring High Fashion To Green Vehicle Ranks

The Toyota Venza has returned after a several year absence. But while the original Venza was a segment blurring entry that straddled the line between a traditional car and a SUV before it was unceremoniously discontinued in 2015, this chapter of Venza aims to push its SUV lineage more into the spotlight, while also doubling down on its green credentials at the same time.   Sharpness and Aggression Define Venza Styling: The original Venza’s styling could be best defined as a bland mixture of styling elements, with the overall look having about as much consistency and excitement as a brand …

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Toyota Teases May 18th Unveiling For Two All New Hybrid Models

With the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic keeping automotive related events down to a minimum, worldwide vehicle debuts have been a rarity over the past few months. Toyota on the other hand is trying to keep things interesting, and has revealed that it will be unveiling not one but two all new hybrid models in a live stream event on May 18th.   While the 2020 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition (a lightly spruced up version of the current Prius) is already confirmed to be a part of the event to coincide with its 20th anniversary, the Japanese auto giant is so far …

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2021 Honda Insight Has Higher Price Tag, Gains New Technology And Color

Honda has released new information regarding the 2021 Honda Insight hybrid. The Insight gains a number of mild updates for the new model year which aim to not only help it remain competitive, but to also help it bring the fight to other hybrid entries that are vying for the top spot in a rapidly evolving marketplace.   A key change is in pricing, with Honda revealing that the base LX model is still holding firm at $23,855 which includes the $955 destination fee. The base feature list also remains largely the same, but the EX and Touring see a …

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Aston Martin To Replace AMG Sourced V8 With In House Electrified V6, V12 Safe For A Few More Years

The recent decision by Mercedes-AMG to phase out all of its V8 engines has left Aston Martin in a bind. When the current generation Vantage and DB11 first appeared on the scene, Aston was quick to point out at the time that it foresaw a healthy future for the V8. But with the engine being axed, Aston was forced to go to creative measures to resolve this impending problem, and has confirmed that an all new engine is indeed in the works to replace it. Less is more in this important regard, with Aston taking the unusual step of eventually …

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Solar Roof, Premium Features Puts Spotlight On 2020 Sonata Hybrid

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid made its initial debut in the South Korean market last year, and buyers in the U.S. long wondered when it would eventually make its way to the U.S. Hyundai delivered a resounding answer, and used the 2020 Chicago Auto Show to formally debut the all new Sonata Hybrid. We first got our glimpse of the Hybrid late last year, and while the prototype we saw was still a bit rough around the edges, it did show us that Hyundai was aiming to make people rethink the way that they looked at hybrids. The full production …

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Hyundai Showcases Refreshed Ioniq With 170 Miles Of Driving Range, Updated Exterior Styling

Hyundai‘s Ioniq lineup has made quite a splash since it debuted a few years ago. Designed to be a potent Toyota Prius competitor, the Ioniq had plenty of potential, and even mirrored the Prius’s extensive green lineup with a Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and even a pure EV variant all ready to battle against their bitter Japanese rival. But with the battle still swinging in Toyota’s favor, Hyundai has instead chosen to use the opportunity to update the Ioniq for 2021 to help give it a new lease on life, as well as give it several new tricks to help it …

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2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid Review by Ben Lewis

Subaru loves to go their own way. That’s one of the things we love about them. We recently tested the WRX – a powerful sports sedan with rally-car DNA. The new Forester, a crossover with that same feel of something a little different from the mainstream. Need a 3-row SUV? You can get the Ascent, and enjoy that Subaru goodness in a larger package. It takes real engineering talent to stay true to your school (cue Beach Boys), and still meet, compete, and beat other vehicles in your segment. So, now we have the all-new Crosstrek Hybrid – the company’s …

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2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Toyota made many changes to the Rav4 for 2019, including a new chassis, new bold look, and more space. How will Toyota’s top seller in the United States fare with these new changes? Coming in at $37,699, is this loaded crossover worth the coin? Overview The Rav4 has long been a big seller for Toyota. It was an early, if not the first, car-based SUV, now called crossovers. For 2019, the Rav4 is more aggressive with a higher stance and a half inch higher ground clearance. This bodes well for the Rav4 Adventure whose focus is on outdoorsy people who …

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SELS S-AWC – Review By Ben Lewis

Quick!  What’s the world’s best-selling Plug-in Hybrid? If you’re like us, you probably said the Toyota Prius. I mean, they pretty much own all things hybrid, no? No. Surprise! It’s the Mitsubishi Outlander. Which was a surprise to us, too. Mitsubishi is one of the smaller players in the U.S. – until recently when Nissan bought a large share of it. (For those playing at home, Renault is a 43% owner of Nissan, while Nissan owns 34% of Mitsubishi). Those deeper pockets are sure to see investment in Mitsubishi, and a rosier future for the brand. We already felt the …

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Aston Martin Confirms Valhalla Moniker For AM-RB 003, Will Build Only 500 Examples

With Aston Martin‘s recent obsession with Norse mythology, the British supercar maker has confirmed that its second all new offering will continue this trend and adopt a Norse inspired name. With the Valkyrie leading the way, it’s only fitting that the next model would be inspired by the ultimate destination for Norse warriors that were slain in combat, Valhalla.   It is certainly an improvement over its development name the AM-RB 003 which was a bit too wordy for our tastes, and it also serves as a figurative glimpse into the sheer levels of performance and driving pleasure that the …

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2019 Toyota Prius Limited – Review by Ben Lewis

It’s tough being at the top. Take the Prius for example. I mean, it pretty much invented the hybrid category. And it bore the brunt of a lot criticism early on. But it emerged. Not only unscathed, but look at how many Hybrid models are for sale now. Toyota alone offers a Camry, Corolla, Avalon, RAV4, Highlander, Prius, Prius Prime and Prius C models. All Hybrids! That’s quite a lineup, and as the pater familias (father of the family) of this clan of efficiency, Toyota has to make sure that it stays relevant and attractive. So, for 2019, The Prius …

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Track Test Review – 2019 Acura NSX – By Carl Malek

When the Acura NSX originally made its debut back in 2016, Acura was keen on reestablishing itself as a technological leader, while also breathing new life into arguably one of its most iconic nameplates. The reborn NSX proved to be a spirited offering, and smashed any doubts that were cast on it with its impressive performance numbers, smooth hybrid technology, and being a futuristic shot of adrenaline for buyers looking for something different from the usual Porsche and even Ferrari powered tonics that were out in the marketplace at the time. But like all good things, even the NSX can …

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2019 Lexus NX300 F Sport – Review By Ben Lewis

If you have a younger sibling, you might remember this. One day, everything is fine – you’re the new baby, star of the show, everything is going well. And then boom! A new baby comes along, and the spotlight has shifted. Wuh happened? Well in the case of the Lexus NX, it was the birth of the all-new, cute and cuddly Lexus UX. Suddenly, the NX is another member of the growing Lexus SUV family. Of course, not being in the spotlight has some advantages. Where the NX used to need to be the price leader SUV of the line, …

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2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Review By Ben Lewis

Toyota has found their mojo. The new Camry is awesome. The Hybrid version, is too. The Corolla Hatch? Desirable and fun. Even the Avalon is sexy now. Yes, the Avalon. But it’s the SUVs and Crossovers that are make or break for manufacturers. And since the RAV4 pretty much invented the small car-based SUV 22 years ago, it’s been a big hit. In fact, Toyota says the RAV4 is not only the best-selling vehicle in its class, it’s the best-selling non-pickup in the country. That would make a lot of manufacturers cautious, careful and conservative. Don’t rock that money boat! …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Toyta Avalon Limited Hybrid- By Carl Malek

When it comes to big sedans, few can come close to matching the unique arsenal of traits that the venerable Toyota Avalon brings to the table. Focusing on providing comfort and borderline luxury to its owners, the Avalon is a key name in the large sedan segment. But with schools of CUV and SUV models circling this iconic segment like sharks, the Avalon faces turbulent waters in its quest to remain true to its virtues. Despite this (as well as the success of its own utility offerings) Toyota is still keen to be a key player in the sedan segment, …

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2020 Toyota Highlander Teases Sleeker Design With 3D Images

Over the years we have become used to automakers releasing various images and teaser sketches to try and build as much hype as possible for the model that they are going to unveil at an auto show. For a long time, Toyota has fitted this well worn mold with the Japanese auto giant offering various teaser images and sketches of many of its models before their respective world debuts. However, for the 2020 Highlander, Toyota has decided to throw convention out the window, and has taken a rather unorthodox approach to showing the world a preview of its upcoming big …

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2019 Volvo XC90 T8 E-AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Volvo has had a renaissance for a few years now. From its hearty agrarian roots, to its German-baiting performance years, to now – a Premium Luxury division with impeccable style, the brand is extraordinarily capable of reinventing itself, while still keeping a Volvo a Volvo. And nowhere is that more notable than the Volvo XC90 T8 E-AWD we recently tested. Meet Thor’s Hammer While its design is closely related to the Volvo XC60 we tested, the larger proportions of the XC90 really give visual heft, and conveys a premium quality. Our tester was all that, starting with a bold front end, …

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Aston Martin Teases Project 003 Hypercar, Expected To Blend Usability and Performance

Following the giant splash that Aston Martin made with the launch of the Valkyrie hypercar, the bespoke British sports car manufacturer has confirmed that it is working internally on an all new hypercar project, which is expected to be revealed in full at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Dubbed “Project 003” Aston Martin claims that the new model channels a lot of the lessons that were learned on the Valkyrie project, but it manages to still maintain its own distinctive DNA. Aston also revealed that Project 003 was engineered to deliver what the company calls “class-leading dynamics on both road …

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2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The sedan is not dead. Sure, SUVs and Crossovers are the big biz these days, but there are a lot of folks who like sedans. And there are some areas where those SUV’s and Crossovers are still falling short. Take Fuel Economy When it comes to efficiency, a crossover or SUV with its bigger body, poorer aerodynamics and greater weight, is going to be challenged. Yes, they’re getting better, but they’re not there yet. Also, sedans are fighting back with technology from hybrid, to plug-in hybrid, to EV. Take for example, …

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2018 Lexus RX450h – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The 2018 Lexus RX has always been a big seller for Lexus, and the new version is the best one yet. All variants of the mid-size luxury SUV use a 3.5 liter V-6, but the 450h (hybrid) model adds a small battery and three electric motors. There is also a new long version that has been stretched a little over four inches to accommodate 3rd row seating. Like all Lexus vehicles, the RX 450h has high quality interior materials, a quiet ride and smooth braking and steering. Does the hybrid RX really deliver luxury-car feel and econo-car mileage? The V-6 …

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2018 Lexus LS500h – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

What does it feel like to drive $104,000 of prime quality Lexus beef on the hoof? It’s actually kind of unnerving. We’ve occasionally driven cars that cost even more, but the mission of the LS500h is daily luxury. Superb and supremely comfortable luxury, but daily nonetheless. And this one’s a hybrid. We tested the 416 horse, twin-turbo V6 LS500 sedan a while ago, and loved it. And a part of that love came from the big sedan’s ability to lift up its figurative skirt and haul like a bat out of hell when it needed to. But does a fuel-saving …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Toyota Prius C – By Carl Malek

The green car segment has seen its fair share of twists and turns over the past several years. While Tesla currently has the spotlight when it comes to pure EV offerings, Toyota and its Prii range in particular are considered by many to be the benchmark offerings in the hybrid vehicle segment. The Japanese auto giant doubled down on hybrids in the mid 1990’s with the original Prius, much to the astonishment and the occasional snicker of a few of its domestic competitors. That initial gambit has transformed into a lucrative business, with the Prii lineup redefining green car culture …

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2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A friend just asked about buying a Diesel-engine car. Diesel? Really? It seems like that boat has sailed a while ago, with VW’s diesel-gate putting the powertrain on the chopping block for most passenger cars. Hybrids and EV’s are where it’s going – for their combination of low or zero emissions, hefty government subsidies (ok, those may go away) and driving fun. Yes, driving fun. And one of the most interesting of these vehicles is the new Honda Clarity. A new way to roll Well, the Honda Clarity actually gives you three ways to roll – if you’re on the …

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2018 Kia Niro PHEV LX – ~240MPG Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Last year we tested the Kia Niro hybrid, and it came away as one of our favorite vehicles of the year. Here was a hybrid with the practicality of a small crossover, excellent fuel economy, and best of all, it was truly fun to drive. We’d gladly have one in our driveway – and it would make a perfect day-to-day partner to some rip-snorting, fuel guzzling, socially questionable weekend toy. Plugging into the latest and greatest While hybrids have been around for quite a while now and become extremely successful, getting people into full EV electric vehicles has been a …

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2018 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

First off, game over. Hybrid has beaten Diesel. At least for passenger cars. The VW debacle has pretty much snuffed the light out for diesel cars as your super-efficient way to motor around. And with the departure of our dear departed Diesel, expect to start seeing more hybrids. Hybrids ‘R Us. So, it makes sense to see what Toyota’s up to. Especially since they pretty much owned the tech for a long time, and made Prius and Hybrid a household word. And no, this isn’t a Prius test, because there’s a brand-new Camry for 2018, and after having a ball …

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2019 Honda Insight Hybrid Revealed, Brings 55 MPG And Refinement To Hybrid Sedan Ranks

When we last met the 2019 Honda Insight in Detroit, it was in prototype form, and it offered a glimpse of the Japanese auto giant’s future plans for the Insight nameplate. With the New York Auto Show fast approaching, Honda has taken the veil off of the production version of the Insight ahead of its Big Apple debut. The basic styling language of the 2019 Insight is largely reminiscent of the prototype’s albeit with the bulk of the changes taking place at the front end. Here, the car borrows a number of cues from several Honda models including the “flying …

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2018 INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept – Photo & Video Flyaround

The Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept is not an instant love-at-first-sight type of machine. Its Tesla overtones are quite obvious.  And not always for the best. The white front grille and the ultra rounded fenders do come to life in person.  The grille is not just a slat shield but a 4D bending thing of great beauty.  Check out the new depth on the Infiniti badge up front — directly off the Prototype 9 open-wheel EV racer in the background of tna few of these shots. And as smooth and dolphin-like as the tail is… keep an eye on the upper …

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2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

There’s an interesting phenomenon in auto-dom. Lag time. A manufacturer will gain a certain reputation, and when it ups its game, it seems it takes a while for the buying public to find out about it. Which can be good for buyers (snag a deal0 , but a rough ride for carmakers. Acura is a perfect example of this. What do you think of the brand? Nice stuff. Not too exciting, but solid, well made. Right? WRONG! Acura has quietly been polishing its vehicles into some really exciting numbers, and it seems like the word hasn’t gotten out. We recently …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus – By Carl Malek

Ever wondered how you could make a Toyota Prius even more fuel efficient and environmentally conscious, while also cramming even more convenience features and technology into its distinctive wrapper at the same time? This conundrum reminds us of some of the great engineering challenges that America has faced over the years. While brilliant minds, technological advances, and the occasional rocket scientist or two played a hand in solving these fore-mentioned problems, Toyota had a delicate balancing act to achieve when it came time to build its latest Prii offering. The end result is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, but does …

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2017 Toyota AVALON Hybrid Limited – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

The 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited is a very stylish car loaded with safety equipment and great fuel economy. It’s only blemish is simply bad timing with the ultra-hot truck and SUV market seeing customers buying other types of vehicles at a startling pace. After receiving a facelift in 2015 and now with a new 2019 model on the way, the 2017 model should represent a bargain for consumers. Here’s why. On the outside, the Avalon represents the older way of designing Toyota vehicles with a more muted front-end and blended style from front to rear. Newer Toyota styling has …

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Honda Provides Insight Into Its Green Fueled Ambitions With Insight Prototype

Honda has made great strides when it comes to adding more green to its lineup of vehicles. From the Clarity lineup, to the upcoming Accord Hybrid, It’s no secret that Honda is keen on regaining ground that it has lost to Toyota and its ever growing lineup of hybrid vehicles. On that front, Honda has revealed its latest step in this initiative, the reawakened Insight hybrid sedan. Dormant for the last few years, Honda plans to position the 2019 Insight above its popular Civic sedan, making it serve a tweener role between the forementioned Civic, and the larger Accord sedan. …

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2017 Kia NIRO Touring – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

The Deep Cerulean blue Kia Niro was waiting for me and the wife at the Ft. Lauderdale airport parking lot, and it was a welcome sight after a long day of airline travel. We dropped the rear seatbacks down, and the generous 54.5 cubic feet cargo area swallowed up two huge suitcases, that in a bygone era would have been labeled “steamer trunks”. A set of golf clubs, and the carry-on bags were added easily. As we eased into the front seats, we basked in the glory of comfortable perforated leather seats, with all the leg room we could want.  …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD – By Carl Malek

With ample cargo room, a healthy suite of features, as well as purposeful styling, it’s no secret that the 2017 Toyota Highlander has emerged as a key family focused entry for the Japanese auto giant. When we last met the Highlander, we gave it high marks for interior room, and the flexibility provided by its sizable cargo area. However, a key weakness that emerged during that encounter was the Highlander’s low fuel mileage. Toyota aimed to try and correct this flaw with the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but does it stand out as a must have option for Highlander fans? …

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Honda Showcases Revived Insight Hybrid, Has Prius In Its Crosshairs

Following on the heels of the recently launched Civic and Accord sedans, Honda is now focusing on beefing up its green presence. This includes the launch of the second generation Clarity sedan, as well as the unveiling of its budget oriented companion, the 2019 Honda Insight. Honda admits that it is a prototype at the moment, but the exterior styling of the 2019 Insight is largely production ready, and is perhaps the sleekest Insight we have seen yet. In addition, this new model also demonstrates the three generation evolution that has taken place, with the original Insight arriving as a …

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4.6s 2018 BMW i8 Roadster Is No-Brainer Ragtop

The i8 is amazing to drive!  In Sport+ this machine opens up its full 374HP and rockets forward with glee.  Triple turbo thrumming behind you and popping out racy noises from the exhausts. But the i8 has a problem.  It is so light because of all that carbon fiber.  Which is expensive. And intrudes on the doorsill in a major way.  This makes i8’s beautiful swan wing doors make sense.  They are very-much needed to help get in and out.  With a low roof on the coupe, this has been a barrier to the car’s wider success. This Roadster hopes …

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2017 Toyota AVALON Hybrid XLE Premium – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  When it comes to hybrid vehicles, Toyota knows their stuff.  The Prius has been around for decades now, and have constantly improved them with each new makeover.  It is the best-selling hybrid of all time.  So as the company expanded their hybrid offerings to many of their other models, customers can feel comfortable enough to buy these larger vehicles in hybrid form.  I couldn’t wait to see how their full size Avalon, which I enjoyed in its gasoline version, would stack up.  The verdict?  It’s a wonderful hybrid car too. We tested the 2017 Avalon XLE Premium, which slots …

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Electric or Hybrid, Which Is Indeed The Superior Green Option?

Remember back when gasoline (and to a lesser extent) diesel engines, were once the sole choices for U.S. drivers looking to buy an automobile for their driveway? We sure do, and we also remember back when the idea of electric let alone hybrid offerings were mere science experiments that existed in the world of concept cars. Fast forward a few decades, and this established order has been toppled by a strong pool of hybrid vehicles, as well as the emergence of a new wave of all electric offerings. But which choice is better for consumers? And which choice will stand …

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2017 Toyota GR HV SPORTS Concept Bows in Tokyo

Toyota is eager to transition its hybrid tech into fun-to-drive machines.  Of course, the CVT automatic is a big buzzkill.  As is the front-drive layout of any Prius variant. SO how about making a rear-drive, part-manual hybrid sports car!? Seems genius, and here we are.  The GR HV Sports is Gazoo Racing (the inhouse Toyota race team)’s take on a next-gen sport Hybrid Vehicle. To up the fun quotient, the autobox can be truly shifted like an auto-stick.  It has a standard PRND button setup on the dash – But pop the M button on dash from Drive to manual.  …

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